The West Indies have named an 18-man provisional squad for their three back-to-back T20I campaigns against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
Star all-rounder Andre Russell returns to the squad after last playing international cricket in March 2020.
Russell is one of five new faces in the squad alongside Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr. The 18-man group is made up of the majority of the squad who featured in the 2-1 T20I series victory against Sri Lanka in March.
The provisional squad will quarantine and train in St Lucia ahead of the first T20I series against South Africa starting on 26 June. The final squad will then be selected and named ahead of each series.
West Indies provisional squad
Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (vc), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr
🌴 West Indies have named an 18-man provisional squad for the T20I series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/FMblKYAuTT— ICC (@ICC) May 18, 2021
With the ICC T20 World Cup just around the corner, the three series shape as a key part of the West Indies' preparations to defend the trophy they won in 2016.
“These upcoming T20Is are crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup," coach Phil Simmons said.
"We have assembled a very solid squad — with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket.
"We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title, so we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment — the way we train, the way we plan, the way we execute and the chemistry within the group.
"We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major steppingstones on the road towards defending our title and being World Champions for a third time.”
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